Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Our Morning Visitor: The Bear

Last week, while on a walk in the some local woods, we had a remarkable encounter with a bear. It was one of those fleeting moments that will be with me for the rest of my life.

This morning we had a visitor. I believe it was the same bear - but what do I know? He was right up at our back door with his sharp claws and big snout. At first he sniffed at the bird feeder and then grabbed the suet feeder. He then ambled down off of the raised stone patio as leisurely as if he had just been through the drive thru at McDonald's, his big black behind swaying lazily as he walked. At one point he stopped and looked over his shoulder at us as Atticus and I were now outside and standing on the patio.

Eventually he settled down at the far reaches of our lawn where it meets the woods just above the river. He was relaxed, at ease, and happily munching on the suet after he opened the container. Of course none of this will sit well with Amelia, our wayward woodpecker who is a regular at the suet feeder. (Not to worry, Amelia, we went to Lucy Hardware and picked up another feeder this afternoon.)

Atticus is always Atticus and will always be Atticus. He was excited about saying hello but when I whispered, "Gentle..." to him he settled down and watched. Bear, dog, man. All three of us once again close to each other and yet quite comfortable. No stress. No worries. Nothing but just the thread that connects all of us.

For the second time in two weeks the bear gave us the gift of his company. And once again I looked on Atticus with amazement as he sat and watched the bear. It's in his nature to sit and watch. Not sure many other dogs would do that. But I never doubt that this is exactly what Atticus will always do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome bear encounter! And your Atticus sounds like a good pup! Happy future adventures to you all.